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  #1  
Old 05-22-2010, 08:26 PM
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Default Values Added: Fear Factory (Peter Laarman & Anthea Butler)

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  #2  
Old 05-22-2010, 09:38 PM
BornAgainDemocrat BornAgainDemocrat is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Fear Factory (Peter Laarman & Anthea Butler)

When it got to the subject of immigration, this diavlog was painful to watch for me, and frankly caused deep feelings of anger and frustration. How to begin?

Well, let's do it from a God's eye point of view, since these two are religious figures: I assume God would want the greatest possible happiness of the greatest possible number of people living in this world today, and he would want to get there as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Now granted, if there were only a few millions or even a few tens of millions of poor people out there the answer would be to let them all into the United States. Sure, this would disadvantage the poorest and most vulnerable people already in this country (guess what colors they are?) even as it advantaged the richest and best educated (including these two) because that's the way markets work. But in His eyes the price would be temporary and well worth the paying.

But in fact there are six billion poor people in this world, living countries with no liberal political institutions, no infrastructure, and very little human or physical capital. If we let them all move into the United States this would greatly penalize the poorest and most vulnerable of our citizens and it would further enrich the wealthiest and best-educated Americans to an even greater extent than has already happened a a result of massive Third World immigration.

Meanwhile, God would point out that presently the United States hassurplus of human and physical capital when compared to the poor parts of the world. We have only a small fraction of the real estate but we have millions of educated people and trillions of dollars of corporate capital. What do you think he would say about that?

Well, if I can read his mind I think he would first tell all these well-meaning and highly-privileged liberals in America (of which I count myself as one) to stop stripping the Third World of the little human capital it has. It is one thing to train Third World students in our universities to become doctors, lawyers, engineers, businessmen, etc., but it is something else to encourage them to stay here permanently instead of returning to their home countries where they are desperately needed. (Look at Haiti.)

The second thing God would tell all these warm-hearted but soft-headed people would be to stop pushing self-serving lines about who or what is liberal or conservative, right or left, fascist, racist, or whatever hurtful world you can think of. He would say think of the billions left behind in the Third World. You should act like missionaries of old and put your own lives on the line by actually emigrating -- yes, actually emigrating! -- to those parts of the world where your talents are needed: as school teachers, administrators, engineers, doctors, lawyers, university professors, economists, managers, you name it.

If we are going to bring prosperity and liberty and functioning institutions to the billions living in Asia, Africa, and Latin America this is what needs doing most. Sure it will require real self-sacrifice on our own parts -- this is not a you and him share proposition -- but this is the only "Christian" thing to do (if I may speak in these terms) if we (I mean educated liberals) are serious about really helping poor people instead of just sounding good.

And the third thing God would tell us is to employ our corporate capital in conjunction with our human capital overseas. To do it on a big scale will require a serious redistribution of income here in the United States to protect the living standards of our own working people (again, this is right out of standard neo-classical trade theory) which means, in effect, a new New Deal like the one Roosevelt put in place seventy-five years (has it been that long?) ago.

And, incidentally, Roosevelt was only able to put his New Deal coalition together after the immigration reform of the 1920's which put an end to the massive influx of cheap European labor. And he did it in part by paying attention to the needs of all those rural rednecks in Georgia and Tennessee and throughout the South and Midwest whom he got to know first hand instead of just reading about them in books while he was down at Warm Springs wrestling with polio. Before that he was just an effete snob and not even a serious human being.

This is God speaking through me in my imagination. Grow up and get real!

Last edited by BornAgainDemocrat; 05-23-2010 at 01:16 AM..
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  #3  
Old 05-22-2010, 11:25 PM
Ray Ray is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Fear Factory (Peter Laarman & Anthea Butler)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat View Post
Now granted, if there were only a few millions or even a few tens of millions of poor people out there the answer would be to let them all into the United States.
If there were only a few million poor people outside the U.S., there would be no U.S.

The United States depends on the poverty of the rest of the world. The American economic system has never worked and cannot work without the exploitation of the impoverished many by the privileged few.

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Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat View Post
That's God speaking through me in my imagination. Grow up and get real!
Yes.
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  #4  
Old 05-23-2010, 12:37 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Fear Factory (Peter Laarman & Anthea Butler)

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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
If there were only a few million poor people outside the U.S., there would be no U.S.

The United States depends on the poverty of the rest of the world. The American economic system has never worked and cannot work without the exploitation of the impoverished many by the privileged few.



Yes.
You really ought to invest a minute or two expressing an argument backing up an assertion like that, ya know?
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  #5  
Old 05-23-2010, 10:40 AM
Ray Ray is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Fear Factory (Peter Laarman & Anthea Butler)

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
You really ought to invest a minute or two expressing an argument backing up an assertion like that, ya know?
You really need me to explain how Wal-Mart works?
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  #6  
Old 05-23-2010, 06:41 PM
pampl pampl is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Fear Factory (Peter Laarman & Anthea Butler)

There's nothing worse than listening to people smugly describe how frightened their opponents are. I tried to listen to this, but even as someone who agrees with the diavloggers I found it insufferable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat View Post
But in fact there are six billion poor people in this world, living countries with no liberal political institutions, no infrastructure, and very little human or physical capital. If we let them all move into the United States
Eight hundred eighty million, not all of whom want to move to the US. Your point that there are too many is broadly right but your numbers are off by more than a factor of 10.

Income redistribution inside the US is a red herring if you're concerned about poverty, btw. It's like redistributing income between the Fortune 500.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
The United States depends on the poverty of the rest of the world. The American economic system has never worked and cannot work without the exploitation of the impoverished many by the privileged few.
This is clearly false, both historically and in describing the present day situation
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  #7  
Old 05-23-2010, 07:27 PM
jimM47 jimM47 is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Fear Factory (Peter Laarman & Anthea Butler)

Wal-mart works in many ways. One way it works is this:

Wal-mart says store brand processed dry food products at a lower price than name-brand equivalent products. It does this by contracting with co-processors in the United States who can bid lowest. The processors compete on price by maximizing their production capacity. Sometimes this involves using large amounts of unskilled labor, but more often it involves a few highly-paid production workers and a support system of highly-educated technical employees monitoring and perfecting inventory systems, recipe controls, machine settings, process methods, etc. The product is cheap even though the workers are skilled and well-paid. That's because there is a lot of capital — machine capital, but mainly human capital — behind the production.

Poor countries have cheap labor, but they lack that capital, particularly human capital. Their workers are more "productive" with the same amount of skill and capital than are workers elsewhere who have other opportunities and could demand higher wages for the same work. But in actual terms, they are less productive than they would be if they were better educated and had access to better capital — which is to say, if they were in rich countries.

Your mistake is to look at particular economic arrangements that exist only because of poverty abroad, while ignoring the different arrangements that would exist in the conditions that will arise when poverty abroad is reduced or eliminated. In fact, the whole world will benefit from poor nations becoming wealthy.
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  #8  
Old 05-23-2010, 07:36 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Fear Factory (Peter Laarman & Anthea Butler)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimM47 View Post
...
Your mistake is to look at particular economic arrangements that exist only because of poverty abroad, while ignoring the different arrangements that would exist in the conditions that will arise when poverty abroad is reduced or eliminated. In fact, the whole world will benefit from poor nations becoming wealthy.
I'm not convinced by that last statement - maybe it's true, but (ignoring the tautological aspect [of course everybody would be better off if they were rich!]) - it sounds more like ideology than science.
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  #9  
Old 05-23-2010, 08:12 PM
jimM47 jimM47 is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Fear Factory (Peter Laarman & Anthea Butler)

I find myself somewhat perplexed at where to go next when my argument is called both unconvincing and tautological. Perhaps it is something to resume on an occasion when it is less off-topic and we can write in greater detail.
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  #10  
Old 05-23-2010, 09:19 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Fear Factory (Peter Laarman & Anthea Butler)

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Originally Posted by jimM47 View Post
I find myself somewhat perplexed at where to go next when my argument is called both unconvincing and tautological. Perhaps it is something to resume on an occasion when it is less off-topic and we can write in greater detail.
I was joking about the tautology. But the idea that a sustainable economy could exist in which everybody (broadly) wins doesn't seem like it's trivially true to me.
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Last edited by AemJeff; 05-23-2010 at 11:59 PM.. Reason: replace dropped word
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  #11  
Old 05-23-2010, 11:48 PM
BornAgainDemocrat BornAgainDemocrat is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Fear Factory (Peter Laarman & Anthea Butler)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pampl View Post

Eight hundred eighty million, not all of whom want to move to the US. Your point that there are too many is broadly right but your numbers are off by more than a factor of 10



This is clearly false, both historically and in describing the present day situation
Granted, pampl, I was not talking about absolute poverty. I was taking a wild guess of current world population levels minus the number enjoying a western standard of living. It would include a hundred million Mexicans (roughly) for example, even though by world standards Mexico is a middle income country. Still wages and living standards in Mexico are only a fraction of ours in the U.S. , which is why so many come here, and because the country is run by a tiny white elite backed by a highly corrupt police force and no real liberal political institutions that function. There are roughly billion Chinese in a similar situation and another billion in India, and so on. So maybe the total is only 4 billion?

Last edited by BornAgainDemocrat; 05-23-2010 at 11:50 PM..
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2010, 01:32 AM
basman basman is offline
 
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Default Elena Kagan; Maureen Dowdy

I only listened to the first bit of this on Elena Kagan, because her nomination interests me--as in, as a Canadian lawyer, I'll take some time off from my work to watch her confirmation hearing, which will be for me a holiday doing something I like. And I read Dowd's piece, which, unlike Mr. Laarman, I didn't find hilarious, but, rather, irritating.

I agree with Ms Butler, and contra some like Andrew Sullivan, who is public intellectual creep number one, that Kagan's sexuality ought to be relevant to nothing public. And so I found Dowd's little column virtually prurient. Her twitting those concerned with Kagan's sexuality serves to do nothing so much as feed this particular irrelevant beast.

For Dowd's column to have resonance she has to privilege, and thus give meaning and legitimacy to, the very vapidities, irrelevancies and sexual obsessiveness, she means to deride. If these things weren't the butt of her failed attempt at withering irony, they could be more easily be shuffled off certain centre stages—like the Times.

Dowd is precisely a discredit to the very point she pretends she wants to make; and I contend she does not know herself.

Itzik Basman not to be confused with Itzik Basman

Last edited by basman; 05-24-2010 at 01:35 AM.. Reason: trying to write like Mencken
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  #13  
Old 05-24-2010, 02:30 AM
carpenterale carpenterale is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Fear Factory (Peter Laarman & Anthea Butler)

When religion comes up why do I have to look at Jim Wallis' mug on TV?

Why can't the MSNBC and CNN bookers get these smart and better looking folks? Oh, yeah, because they actually add cultural analysis, humor, and historical depth to the faith news o' the day.
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  #14  
Old 05-24-2010, 11:39 AM
Ray Ray is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Fear Factory (Peter Laarman & Anthea Butler)

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Originally Posted by pampl View Post
This is clearly false, both historically and in describing the present day situation
The economic formula of the U.S.: a small number of rich people take resources from a large number of poor people.

This was the situation when Europeans arrived. Rich Europeans took what the poor natives had.

This is the situation now. Rich Americans take what poor foreigners have.

Look at the debate about why it's so hard for poor countries to follow the path of Western countries and become rich.

The answer is simple: today's poor countries have no great mass of poorer people to enslave and colonize.

Remember: capitalism developed before democracy. Capitalism developed through monopoly, slavery, and colonization--and it could have developed in no other way. It also cannot function in any other way. Capitalism absolutely requires massive disparities of wealth in order to function.
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  #15  
Old 05-24-2010, 01:45 PM
pampl pampl is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Fear Factory (Peter Laarman & Anthea Butler)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
The economic formula of the U.S.: a small number of rich people take resources from a large number of poor people.

This was the situation when Europeans arrived. Rich Europeans took what the poor natives had.

This is the situation now. Rich Americans take what poor foreigners have.

Look at the debate about why it's so hard for poor countries to follow the path of Western countries and become rich.

The answer is simple: today's poor countries have no great mass of poorer people to enslave and colonize.

Remember: capitalism developed before democracy. Capitalism developed through monopoly, slavery, and colonization--and it could have developed in no other way. It also cannot function in any other way. Capitalism absolutely requires massive disparities of wealth in order to function.
First you're going to have to define "resources". That's a word commonly use to equivocate. For instance, is land a resource? That's the resource that was taken from the Native Americans, but it wasn't a particularly great source of wealth, especially for the colonial society at large. Of course, in that case it was a large number of colonialists taking from a small number of poor people (most of whom had been wiped out via new diseases from Europe) which contradicts your thesis. Your present day claim is absurd, as "rich Americans" have been partially responsible for hundreds of millions of Chinese rising out of poverty. Yes, I know some members of the far left think rural squalor is freedom and bliss and industrial work is slavery, but even the Chinese people who've only been raised to the level of "slavery" are still preparing a better way for their children.

Contra your claims, it isn't hard for poor countries to become rich. This is why so many have done it. Note that the countries that do become rich do so largely without charitable aid or debt forgiveness.

Your claims about capitalism are patently false. Capitalism relies on property rights to develop, not income disparities, which is why markets emerge even in groups with completely equal incomes. Monopoly and slavery preclude the development of capitalism- economics was, in fact, named "the dismal science" by an idealist like yourself who was sick of capitalist economists arguing against slavery. Capitalism is a mere 500 years old whereas democracy is 2500 years old.
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  #16  
Old 05-24-2010, 01:48 PM
pampl pampl is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Fear Factory (Peter Laarman & Anthea Butler)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat View Post
Granted, pampl, I was not talking about absolute poverty. I was taking a wild guess of current world population levels minus the number enjoying a western standard of living. It would include a hundred million Mexicans (roughly) for example, even though by world standards Mexico is a middle income country. Still wages and living standards in Mexico are only a fraction of ours in the U.S. , which is why so many come here, and because the country is run by a tiny white elite backed by a highly corrupt police force and no real liberal political institutions that function. There are roughly billion Chinese in a similar situation and another billion in India, and so on. So maybe the total is only 4 billion?
Fair enough. It was dumb of me to only count people below the poverty line anyway, as many (most?) illegal immigrants are richer than that. Your number was closer than I gave it credit for
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  #17  
Old 05-25-2010, 01:38 PM
basman basman is offline
 
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Default Re: The Arizona Bill

Like the currrent administration, I have not read the bill.

I haven't even glanced at it. But I have heard left and right talking points.

Is it really such a bad bill?

If so, why?

Please cite chapter and verse and tell me how it's different--as in worse than-- currrent federal law, also citing chapter and verse.

Itzik Basman
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  #18  
Old 05-25-2010, 09:42 PM
kezboard kezboard is offline
 
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Default Re: The Arizona Bill

It mandates that state police do things that aren't their job, which will make it harder for them to do what is their job.
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  #19  
Old 05-25-2010, 11:55 PM
basman basman is offline
 
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Default Re: The Arizona Bill

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Originally Posted by kezboard View Post
It mandates that state police do things that aren't their job, which will make it harder for them to do what is their job.
Is that the criticism: the misallocation of police resources?

I haven't heard anyone make that argument.

What things does it make the state police do that aren't their job?

And can you point to which sections of the legislation that do that: I'd be curious to look at them?

Thanks,

Itzik Basman
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  #20  
Old 05-26-2010, 12:57 AM
kezboard kezboard is offline
 
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Default Re: The Arizona Bill

Quote:
Is that the criticism: the misallocation of police resources? I haven't heard anyone make that argument.
That's the best criticism.

Quote:
What things does it make the state police do that aren't their job?
Enforce federal immigration law. It's in Section 1 and Section 2.
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  #21  
Old 05-26-2010, 03:11 AM
basman basman is offline
 
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Default Re: The Arizona Bill

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Originally Posted by kezboard View Post
That's the best criticism.

Enforce federal immigration law. It's in Section 1 and Section 2.
Okay, I glanced at the law. It’s hard to take in without poring over it. I can’t reproduce here sections 1 and 2. But 1 is a statement of intent mandating nothing specific; and 2 speaks of determining status on reasonable suspicion.

Here’s a description of the key things the legislation does by Ilya Shapiro, who seems agnostic on the law as policy.
__________________________________________
1. Creates the new state crime of “trespassing by illegal aliens,” which essentially consists of being in the state in violation of federal immigration laws as determined by an officer or agency authorized by the federal government to verify immigration status;

2. Sets out that no official or agency of the state or its political subdivisions (county, city, etc.) ”may adopt a policy that limits the enforcement of federal laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law;”

3. State (and local) law enforcement officials shall make a “reasonable attempt . . . when practicable, to determine the immigration status” of any person with whom they have made “lawful contact . . . where reasonable suspicion exists that the [detained] person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States;”

4. If an alien who is unlawfully in the United States is convicted of violating any state or local law [including the new "trespassing by illegal aliens"], the alien “shall be transferred immediately [on discharge from imprisonment or assessment of fine for the offense] to the custody of the [federal immigration authorities];”

5. A police officer “may lawfully stop any person who is operating a motor vehicle of the officer has reasonable suspicion to believe the person is in violation of any civil traffic law and [the the pre-existing law against human smuggling];”

6. Makes it illegal to stop to hire or pick up passengers for work if the vehicle “blocks or impedes the normal movement of traffic;”

7. Makes it illegal for an illegal alien to knowingly apply for work, solicit work in a public place, or perform work as an employee or independent contractor;

8. Makes it illegal for anyone violating the law (including the new illegal hiring law, as well as pre-existing prohibitions on hiring illegal aliens) to transport, move, conceal, or harbor persons who the alleged violator knows to be illegally in the United States, as well as to encourage or induce aliens to come to Arizona illegally;

9. Provides an entrapment defense to the pre-existing crime of employing illegal aliens (whether knowingly or intentionally); and

10. Authorizes the immobilization or impoundment of vehicles used to committ various vehicle-related offenses relating to illegal aliens.
__________________________________________________ _____________

So even if I gave credence to your argument—which I tend not to—that it’s telling against the bill that it causes state enforcement to do something divertingly new, I don’t see from my albeit brief review of the legislation much more in the way of novel police work than determining status by requesting document information.

But that point rests on granting your argument. I, from the not so much that I know about the issues, find that a curious argument rather than the "best one". That's because what I hear essentially anti is that the law is akin to racial profiling. It will visit invidious “effect racial discrimination” by effectively forcing the police to single out brown skinned and Hispanic looking people in their implementation of status determination based on “reasonable suspicion”. That seems to me be a more telling and potent argument than the one you propose, even though I find myself unpersuaded by it given the content of the bill and federal law itself.

Almost finally, even if, just for the sake of argument, there was something to your specific concern, it seems to be answered by the fact that Arizona perceives itself abandoned by federal inaction and that it has had to try something by its own means. If diverting state enforcement is a last resort for dealing with a perceived terrible problem in the face of federal indifference, then I don’t understand an argument against the law grounded on that very diversion. For following that argument to its logical conclusion leaves states impotent in the face of problems left federally unattended to.

Btw, and finally, I heard news today that Obama is sending down 1200 federal troops to work the border, not just to Arizona though, and the reaction that that’s a start but not nearly enough of one. Plus that 1200 person enforcement seems to me to vindicate Arizona’s felt need to act.

Itzik Basman not to be confused with Itzik Basman

Last edited by basman; 05-28-2010 at 02:44 AM.. Reason: trying to write like Hemingway as opposed to Faulkner
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  #22  
Old 05-26-2010, 06:29 PM
KevinWho KevinWho is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Fear Factory (Peter Laarman & Anthea Butler)

Oh, that kind of phobia ....
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